FDA Approves DxTerity's At-Home Test for Companies Trying to Make Work Safe
The Food and Drug Administration approved genomics company DxTerity's at-home COVID test this week making the Rancho Dominguez-based company one of the few that partner exclusively with corporations to provide saliva-based tests that can be taken on your couch.
As workers return to work, businesses have been scrambling to create safety protocols and make workers feel safe. Individual consumers have been able to purchase at-home tests online, but the company said it hasn't been as easy for businesses.
"Our new at-home test provides the flexibility and reliability of results for people who are traveling, returning to work or simply want to ensure they can protect themselves and others," said Bob Terbrueggen, CEO of DxTerity, in a statement.
Companies can order testing kits given emergency use approval as part of their return-to-work program, and send them directly to employees' homes. Employees get results from DxTerity's lab within 48 hours of returning the sample. The company said it serves 150 company sites around the nation with more than 300,000 employees.
"What that translates to is corporations in Los Angeles, Hollywood movie studios, production companies — they can order testing directly from us for their employees to facilitate a safe return to work program, but also know they won't be impacting negatively testing available for the community," said Brett Swansiger, chief commercial officer.
The company is one of only four tests that are authorized to screen asymptomatic individuals for COVID. Such testing has to be much more sensitive to be able to catch infections even before symptoms develop. The other authorized testing for asymptomatic individuals is provided by Hologic, LabCorp and Kaiser Permanente.
Founded in 2006, DxTerity specializes in RNA monitoring for regular disease activity, but pivoted to coronavirus testing during the pandemic. It now has the capacity to process more than 10,000 samples daily of their RNA test.
The company offers businesses repeated employee screening once they return to work. The testing helps find workers who might have been infected and have the potential to spread the virus.
"Models certainly suggest that regular testing is one component of a good strategy for slowing the spread of COVID-19," said Nathaniel Bottman, a researcher at USC specializing in optimizing group testing for the virus.
Xencor, a biologic therapeutic company based in Monrovia, has one such agreement with DxTerity. Each of its 200 employees, 40% of which work on site, was tested on Memorial Day and has continued being tested weekly. Employees can also request additional testing, all of which is covered by Xencor.
DxTerity said they are in a good position as flu season rolls around and more people with flu-like symptoms test for COVID. Unlike laboratories that service hospitals, which may see a crush of new cases that slow processing, they maintain a more predictable caseload.
"It's anticipated that we're going to have 50 million people diagnosed with the flu this year, based on last year's incidents. If you put those 50 million people in the current testing pathway, along with COVID-19, all of those individuals will have to be treated as COVID-19 patients until proven otherwise," said Swansiger. "So that's going to create a huge surge in testing demand, which can prolong testing turnaround time."
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Data tracker, there have been 137 million reported COVID-19 tests conducted this year.
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Cherie, an App to Build Community Around Beauty, Donates $60k to L.A. Beauty Businesses Hit By COVID
Kelly Chen founded Cherie in August 2019 to bring a sense of community to a beauty industry that can sometimes feel alienating. A former general manager at Musical.ly (now TikTok), Chen launched her app out of Culver City as a platform to promote "honest discussions" about beauty, wherein people "define beauty on their own terms" and can find "trusted information about beauty products."
Cherie's app serves as a forum for 'honest' discussions about beauty and beauty products
Cherie set aside $110k to donate to the LA beauty community
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LA Tech Updates: Apple Podcast Vet Joins QCODE, Amazon Reportedly in Talks to Buy Wondery, Pharrell's New Black Ambition Incubator
Apple Podcast Veteran Joins Startup QCODE<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDUzNTQzMC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNDUzMzYyNH0.pOGV2lL0qOJQDiWw1T5i4SqsGfaL54hLWED6_5Mf1Ww/img.png?width=980" id="8d68d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f2a47797239f360473fead53338231d4" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="qcode" />www.sonos.com <p>QCODE, a Los Angeles podcast startup run by a former Creative Artists Agency talent agent, snagged longtime Apple podcast executive Steve Wilson. The 15-year veteran will become QCODE's chief strategy officer.</p> <p>QCODE, which <a href="https://dot.la/sonos-podcast-qcode-2648395035.html" target="_self">last month raised $6.4 million</a> in a Series A round led by Sono, is positioning itself as a funnel for Hollywood. </p> <p>Founded by Rob Herting, a former agent who had represented largely writers and filmmakers, the company has produced eight shows since 2019. Several have been auctioned for film and television, including "Dirty Diana." Amazon picked up the 6-part erotic drama for a TV series.</p>Wilson, who most recently ran marketing for Apple Podcasts, brings insights from the behemoth platform as the industry sees revenues soar. Advertising brought in near $1 billion this year, according to Interactive Advertising Bureau's podcast report prepared by PwC.
Amazon Reportedly in Exclusive Talks to Buy Wondery<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDc5NDU5OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MjgyMDY3NX0.BHKSXjwra-gGsFEa7lXCCCMJXWV5cYxrZqhddj3-uds/img.jpg?width=980" id="d401d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c9c9eee1f9adc4c1d5edeca1af986a84" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Hernan Lopez" />Hernan Lopez started Wondery with the belief that in-depth, narrative audio stories were poised to bloom.<p>Amazon is in "exclusive talks" to buy podcast company Wondery and subsume its 30 hit shows and over 8 million monthly listeners into its empire, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.</p> <p>The talks reportedly value Wondery above $300 million, in line with previous estimates from analysts, when Apple and Sony were said to have expressed interest.</p> <p>Wondery has produced dozens of original series including "Dr. Death" and "Business Wars," and has 19 shows currently in development to become television series. </p> <p>The company does not publicly disclose its financials, but chief executive Hernan Lopez has previously said the company is profitable. About three-quarters of Wondery's revenue comes from advertising, but Lopez has said the company's revenue share from content licensing is growing (Wondery owns the intellectual property for all of its originals). It also launched a subscription service, Wondery Plus, in June and is currently looking to expand its international footprint. </p> <p>Wondery, the West Hollywood-based company with the largest audience of any independent podcast producer, has been the subject of swirling rumors that several suitors are interested in acquiring it.</p> <p>After a pandemic-induced decline that struck much of the podcasting industry, Wondery's audience has surpassed its pre-COVID levels. Its Q3 revenue was about double year-on-year and its Q4 performance has been strong, Lopez previously told dot.LA. </p> <p>Podcasting overall now attracts over 100 million monthly listeners, according to Edison Research. The Interactive Advertising Bureau projects podcasting revenues to exceed $1 billion by 2021.</p> <p>That growth has spurred somewhat of an arms race, most evident in Spotify's spending spree, which also has helped that company diversify from its reliance on streaming. Amazon Music is one of Spotify's biggest competitors along with Apple Music, and <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-music-joins-podcasting-fray-11600261201?mod=article_inline" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">recently expanded into podcasts as well</a>. </p> <p>Acquiring Wondery would give Amazon more content to slide into Amazon Music, a scaled-down version of which is free for Amazon Prime subscribers. Combining that content with its Alexa smart speaker also could empower the company to capture more eyes and ears in the increasingly competitive attention economy. </p> <p>The talks are reportedly ongoing and no deal has been confirmed. </p>
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